Lutherie: Gustave Bernardel

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A close look at the work of great and unusual makers

Gustave Adolphe Bernardel, son of Auguste Sébastien Philippe Bernardel (called Bernardel père), was born on 20 April 1832 in Paris. He worked together with his elder brother Ernest Auguste in their father’s workshop. From 1859 onwards the company was called ‘Bernardel & Fils, Luthiers, Élève de Lupot’. When Bernardel père retired in 1865, Gustave and Ernest created a new company together with the brothers Gand, who had their workshop just across the street. It was named ‘Gand et Bernardel Frères’. Gustave Bernardel became the sole owner from 1892, when the firm’s name was changed to simply ‘Gustave Bernadel’. On his retirement in 1901 his junior partners, Albert Caressa and Henri Francais, continued the company as ‘Caressa & Francais’. Gustave spent the last years of his life with his daughter Jenny in Cherbourg, where he died on 27 January 1904.

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